A Rat Betwixt Blog Post #4 – Additional In-Game Content

Hello, everyone!

So yes, in my last Blog Post I promised that I would show off some actual 3D coming from me! This is not me saying that rigging and skinning characters or drawing 2D turnarounds for characters isn’t 3D. In 3D projects where characters and animations are important, those things are just as necessary as making the 3D models.

However, skinning and rigging are not really the most interesting topics when it comes to 3D. In fact, they are amongst the most hated parts of working with 3D! They are slow, boring, tedious and not really all that difficult either. It’s just slow pased, drawn out and rarely appreciated by those outside the development team. They are like a clean and tidy room. No one will mention it if it’s clean, but everyone will point it out as a bad thing if it’s not.

That being said, let’s get to something more interesting! 3D modeling!

Importance and use of props

Props.png

A prop is something that can be found inside the game’s world. Everything from items to pick up such as potions and weapons, or furniture and other items to interact with or fill a room with etc.

Props are important when it comes to giving life to any given game world. Imagine a room with  nothing inside it. Quite boring, isn’t it? Now, add in a chair into the room. Still not that much, but it’s something. Now add a table next to the chair, and you have somewhere to sit. Depending on what you put on the table, your interpretation of the room and situation changes. Putting a computer there could mean that it’s a work space whilst putting some plates and silverware on it gives more of a dining room feeling. Each individual part you add can tell its own story depending on how you use it and what you pair it with. Like if you put the table, chair and whatever was on it on its side, then you will probably get a more dire feeling from it. Like something is off about this room. Maybe there had been a fight or something?

UV Mapping

Of course, this being a HiddenMaxDesign, I have to show you some boring but important stuff! Can’t go without that, now could we?

UV Mapping is something you do when you want to texture an 3D object. Which is basically painting stuff onto them. To be able to do that, we have to let the program know what can be textures and how it should apply to a certain object. Each object is unique and require its own UV map to apply textures to.  You do this by extracting the surface information from the object by opening its UV map, rearrange it and open them up to get a flat surface, a sort of canvas you could say, to paint on.

UV Maps.png

Hey, remember our old friend, The Troll?

This is the results of proper UV Mapping. In the top picture the textures are all stretched out and weird as well as impossible to paint textures onto. Whilst the lower one is a lot cleaner and has some clear flat surfaces to paint on top of.

Rounding things up

Phew, quite a lot of work for a single thing to be created in 3D, isn’t there? It’s not just make the 3D model, paint it and get it animated as one might first think. You can bet a ton of love and care has been put into a 3D anything if it ends up looking good in the long run. There’s no room for slacking if you want things done properly!

For my next post I will go more in depth with how someone’s work process can be affected by outside forces. Oh boy, the next post will be a doozy.

Well, anyway, thanks for reading and take care!

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A Rat Betwixt Blog Post #2 – Additional Characters

Hello again!

It’s been quite some time, but now I’m back to further give you the story of how I was involved in the creation of the game “A Rat Betwixt”!

In the last post I told you about how I first got introduced with the project, me getting accepted into the group and the work I was first assigned going into it all. In this post I will give further details on my work as well as other things going on in the background.

What I’ve done

So, after I provided the group with the design for the game’s main big enemy – The Troll – I also got assigned the job of designing the game’s minor enemy. Which in development has been called “The Mole People”.

This is the image I was given to start my work V

Moleman.png

What I was told about the character before doing the design was that these “Mole People” are ones who have inhabited the game’s bunkers for quite some time. So they have gathered stuff they found in the bunker such as old army clothing and weapons as well as equipping themselves with different things they seemed useful.

They can carry weapons, have lamps attatched to their helmets or carried around with them. I was also told that they really wanted to have a typewriter thrown in there somewhere.

As for the gender of the enemy. One big part of the game’s characters at this stage was that they need to be androgynous – not clearly male or female.

The Results

Here’s the basic design for how these enemy characters will look V

Rat Betwixt FIende Turnarounds.png

One of my first ideas when creating the design for the enemies was “How can I fit the typewriter into their design?”

I had different ideas such as them having parts of typewriters added onto their clothing or them carrying one around on their back.

Then it hit me. How could I have the typewriter in the design and further make the enemy look androgynous? Cover up the chest area. With this in mind and them carrying around typewriters on their backs I switched it around. I’d have them carry them on ther chest instead! But why stop at typewriters? With this new hanging contraption they could hang whatever they want up front! Such as typewriters, filing cabinets, work tables, you name it. This design decision opened up for a more modular approach – meaning that we can use the same design multiple times but change some minor things around in order to make each of them seem different. In turn also giving them different roles in the bunkers depending how high ranks they have as an example.

Summary

With this new enemy design as well as the modular approach I feel like I managed to give them I have now created a new set of characters that can be used in many different ways to further develop the world of A Rat Betwixt. With multiple different ideas and figuring out how to use them in multiple different ways you can make a lot of variety with minimal efforts put into it. Which is perfect for a short 10 week game project such as ours!

Hope this has been insightful, take care! 😀

Group 4 – Final Mermaid River Blog Post

For the last time, hi everyone!

So this is the final week for the Mermaid River project, and as it stands this week has mostly been about polishing already existing stuff.

Or at least that is what I would have said if I was not pretty much finished with everything I had been assigned to make as all the polish needed were done last week.

But does that mean that I have nothing to talk about? Of course not, a game project is never fully done, it just meets the end date and then has to be released.

So what does one do at a time like this? Near the end of a game project the team always runs the risk of not having what they create be included into the final game. Either it is deemed unfinished, unneeded or the team runs out of time to implement the element. It is the sad truth, but that is the way things can go sometimes. But enough about that. So, what have I been doing?

Sometimes there are things that needs to be changed overall. One this is that I finished the design for the Super Harpoon item that I talked about last week, and it ended up like this:

Yes, it is a combination of design 5 and 15 (I did the design and lineart, not the coloring).
The result come forth as we sat and discussed as a team the designs I had made to which one would be used. The results were varied as everyone liked different designs. So what I did was I took different elements from the designs that got the most votes, which resulted in three different designs.

The team all liked the tentacle themed design and a majority of the votes fell on design 3, 9 and 16. So I decided to combine the two and see how it turned out. Everyone was for the idea, so we went along and finished it. Perhaps we should have shown the designs to other people and let them vote for the design, but now the things are the way they are and I personally feel that it works out well in the long run 🙂

Another thing besides the Super Harpoon that needed updating was the Fishfood item. The Skogaholmslimpan just was not fitting enough to some people (how dare you guys).

So, now onto some actual design insight, who would have thought?
There were discussions of some different kinds of foods. Everything from worms to fish flakes were discussed (mostly quick ideas being thrown around). As we were dealing with crazed and probably meat and flesh eating fish (the Pirateanhas especially) and the fact that you are killing fish by more or less ripping them open using a sharp harpoon I thought that fish meat chum would fit pretty well.

(Once again, I only did the design and lineart, not the coloring (I am not one to steal credit from others :P))
Well, design might be an over-exaggeration, but when it comes to implementing something from the real world into an interprative piece of art such as video games one has to take some liberties and decide upon certain things.
I wanted the chum to looks as slimy and non specific as possible, but still grainy and in chunky pieces of fish. To make it like this I got a bit more freehanded with my line strokes. By mixing up thick and thin lines in a more or less random way in not so straigh lines you too can create something look mushy and non-desirable.
As a finishing touch to add to the grossness and fishy-ness of the chum I added in a fish bone that as the chum gets spread out in the water the bones slowly goes down along the chunks that it is attatched to.

Well then, sorry that this last post of mine was not that interesting or special for a final weeks and final thoughts (kinda) one, but the most interesting thing that I did this week is being kept a secret to everybody. So I hope that you like what you see at the end of our game, if you can get there that is 😉
We are not really meant to write a blog post next week, but I just might anyway to give some insight into why and how I along with my team created the final art asset for the game.

Well then, to each and everyone out there, best of luck with finishing your projects and I am more than looking forward to seeing everything in action tomorrow! Happy crunching! 😀